Since 2007, ANSI Z359.2 has been a guidance document for employers to establish a fall protection program. Changes to the document in 2017 are intended to make the standard more manageable and complete, hopefully increasing the safety of people who work at height.

Developing and implementing a comprehensive fall protection program is the most effective tool for employers to deal with fall hazards. Most organizations that have workers at height have some type of fall protection program already. Usually, equipment has been purchased and training has been conducted. Unfortunately, fall-related accidents continue to hold steady, and in some jurisdictions, increase. Z359.2 is another tool in the battle against fall-related accidents.

The purpose of ANSI Z359.2 is to establish criteria and requirements for an employer's fall protection program. Included in Z359.2 are the policies, duties and responsibilities, training, survey and identification of fall hazards, fall protection procedures, eliminating or controlling fall hazards, rescue procedures, program implementation, incident investigation, and evaluating program effectiveness.

If you have already been using or are familiar with Z359.2, the changes in the 2017 version are subtle. The greatest change is a reorganization of the content so the document is more user-friendly and assembled in a logical order. Another change is the inclusion of clear and succinct language as to what an employer must do to be in compliance with the standard. Training requirements have been reorganized to be clear, but also flexible to the needs of employers.

The standard has been written to reflect the order of steps that an employer uses to establish a fall protection program. This illustration is representative of how the standard is organized.

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